Editorial: Paying respect to the Philippine National Flag
Davao City (4 June) -- The nation is commemorating the National Flag Days starting May 28 towards June 12 in time for this year's celebration of Independence Day.
All government agencies nationwide simultaneously held flag-raising ceremonies and the display of the national flag in their respective offices on the 28th of May, the day when the national flag was first unfolded after the Philippine revolutionary army, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, defeated Spain during the Battle of Alapan in Cavite in 1998.
It was the mark of the country's liberation from the three centuries rule of Spain. Independence day was officially declared on June 12.
As the country paid respect and commemorated that historic and patriotic acts of our national heroes, President Marcos declared May 28 as National Flag Day through Presidential Proclamation No. 374.
Pres. Fidel Ramos later extended the period of observance to June 12, under Executive Order No. 179 of 1994. The Executive Order mandated the display of the Philippine flag during the period of each year not only in all offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, institutions of learning, but also in private homes.
Paying reverence to our National Flag as an emblem of our democracy from foreign domination is a manifestation of our love, respect and patriotism to our country where we owe our lives and national identity as Filipino citizens.
It is also paying tribute to our national heroes who risked their lives to free the country from the bondage of foreign colonization.
Under Republic Act 8491 of 1998 that provides the "Code of the National Flag, Anthem, Motto, Coat-of-Arms and Other Heraldic Items and Devices of the Philippines," there are certain rules to follow in paying reverence to the flag.
One important rule is that the National Flag "shall be displayed in all public buildings, official residences, public plazas, and institutions of learning everyday throughout the year."
"It shall be permanently hoisted, day and night, throughout the year, in front of the following: Malacanang Palace; Congress of the Philippines building; Supreme Court building; Rizal Monument in Luneta; Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City; Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit; Barasoain Church Historical Landmark in Malolos City; Marcela Agoncillo Historical Landmark in Taal; Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Libingan ng mga Bayani in Makati City; Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolution in N. Cemetery; and all International Ports of entry."
It is mandated that the "National Flag of these sites shall be properly illuminated at night."
It is also a directive under RA 8491 that the conduct of flag-raising and lowering ceremonies in all government offices, private institutions and institutions of learning must be "simple and dignified," along with the singing of the National Anthem.
It must also be remembered that when the Philippine Flag is "flown with flag or flags of other countries, the flags must be of equal size and on separate staffs of the same height. The National Flag shall be hoisted first and lowered last."
These are just some of the many rules in paying respect to our national flag that every Filipino must inculcate and uphold into his/her being a citizen of the Philippine land. And for Filipinos to mould this reverence into the hearts of our children. (PIA XI/clc) [top]